At weMED, we treat patients who cover the spectrum of health, from those who are already healthy and wish to maintain their health to those who face a critical health problem and need immediate relief. Our goal is not just to heal your arthritis or alleviate your IBS; we also want to help you reach the best level of health you can.
To that end, part of our treatment is determining which Care Cycle our patients occupy.
What is a Care Cycle, you ask?
A Care Cycle represents your relationship to your ongoing health, encompassing your reaction to specific health issues, what you do to address the problem, and what action you take to prevent future issues. There are three Care Cycles:
- Relief Care Cycle
- Correction Care Cycle
- Maintenance Care Cycle
Each Care Cycle has a crucial impact on your short- and long-term health
Relief Care Cycle
If you only go to the doctor when you are sick, then you are in a Relief Care Cycle. You seek medical help only when you have an acute problem, and you receive symptom relief in the form of pills, shots, and syrups. By the time you seek medical attention for severe illness or pain, the care is likely to be more intensive, which also means more expensive.
In fact, the Relief Care Cycle is the most expensive approach to health. For example, trips to the emergency room or double bypass surgery are much more expensive than adopting a better diet and fitness regime. However, by the time you need surgery, the problem has become too severe for diet and exercise alone. Intervention is necessary.
At weMED, we always hope that patients seek help before their health deteriorates to the point of falling into a Relief Care Cycle. However, we focus on the future and treat our patients no matter their Care Cycle. For Relief Care patients, we use a combination of Eastern and Western medicine to assist in pain relief and reverse as much of the damage as we can, in conjunction with the Five Pillars of Health and the patient’s Western health care team.
Correction Care Cycle
If you receive ongoing care for chronic illness, disease, or pain, then you are in a Correction Care Cycle. You might see a specialist regularly or have a standing prescription from your family doctor to manage your condition.
The Correction Care Cycle is the second-most expensive approach to health care. While this Care Cycle might avoid the drastic last resort of ER visits and surgical intervention, specialists and expensive medication become your normal.
We work with many patients in the Correction Care Cycle. Our doctors partner with your physicians to supplement their care with Traditional Chinese Medicine. Together, we can identify the causes of your illness, whatever your chronic health condition. With our diagnostic tests on gut flora, hormones, and micronutrients, we add another dimension of understanding to your treatment team that will empower you to make progress with your condition instead of staying stuck in a holding pattern of medicines and specialists’ appointments. With this method and teamwork, we have helped hundreds of patients reverse their deteriorating health and recover to such an extent that they no longer need most of their medications.
Maintenance Care Cycle
If you monitor your wellness, have regular check-ups, and actively try to improve your wellbeing every chance you get, then you are in a Maintenance Care Cycle. You might also hear the term “Preventive Care” to describe this approach to total health. Maintenance Care’s focus is to minimize wear and tear as we age. Just as you care for your car, you should give your body regular tune-ups to ensure high-level functioning through ongoing maintenance.
It might seem that Maintenance Care Cycle, where you visit the doctor even when you feel perfectly well, is a frivolous waste. However, it’s the least expensive approach to health care. Early screening, regular check-ups, and proactive healthy habits enable us to detect changes in your health long before they deteriorate into an illness or disease. In this way, you fix any underlying problems sooner, and you avoid surgeries, reliance on expensive, risky medications, and lost productivity for hospitalizations.
Many of our Maintenance Care Cycle clients came to us in the Correction Care phase. Once we restore their health, they stick around to keep it that way. If you already have a chronic condition, working towards a Maintenance Care Cycle is your best option. As you move through life, we update your Wellness Plan and customize it to your evolving needs, tweaking everything from nutrition to stress management. We also regularly monitor our patients to identify any changes in their health and correct for any problems we find before they become serious health threats.
With weMED on your team, your health can go from the Relief Care Cycle state to the Correction Care Cycle and finally reach the Maintenance Care Cycle.
There are three stages of disease development:
- The reduced function stage without symptoms or with only sporadic symptoms: stress causes 80% of our health problems, which can be caused by physical, emotional and chemical stressors. The cumulative effects of these stressors and the potential hereditary factors build on each other and contribute to reduced function but no apparent symptoms at the early stage.
Common physical stressors could be injuries and traumas, lack of exercise, too much sitting, repetitive movements, and poor sleep.
Emotional/mental stressors could be life events connected with relationships, family, work, school, finances, overloaded schedule, poor health, computer games, and daily life challenges.
Common chemical stressors could be poor diet, environmental chemicals, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, medications, and allergies (both food and environmental).
As we go through life and experience these stressors, we sometimes lose function but regain it because our bodies know how to compensate and heal themselves. As a result, we don’t experience symptoms a lot of time. However, sometimes the body cannot compensate or heal itself, and we do not regain our prior level of function and witness an overall incremental loss of function.
- The last straw on camel’s back: The clinical reality is that, even if your function drops, you may not have symptoms at all, until the situation is dire. For example, you may start having liver symptoms only when your liver function drop below 50% or you may not have a stroke until 80-95% of your carotid artery is blocked. That is how strong your body’s capacity to compensate is.
- The collapse of function: Once your health reaches a certain point, many more symptoms will appear, and your health will continue to deteriorate. As such, while you may have started with only one symptom or one medication a while ago, now you might have 3-10 more symptoms or take 2-6 medications because you are not addressing the cause of your problem. The cumulative stress can eventually result in a major function reduction. A minor life event could result in a catastrophic breakdown, like a heart attack or a stroke following a phone call, or a herniated disc due to bending forward.
For example, here are three case studies that illustrate this point:
|Relief Care||Correction Care|
|Definition||Refers to treating repeating symptoms with medication, a few acupuncture sessions, or other therapies, then ceasing the treatment once you feel better. You may start the same treatment again if the symptoms return.||Refers to identifying the cause and addressing it systematically to restore the functionality back to 85% of your pre-illness capability.|
|Example 1: |
|Feeling better with a few acupuncture sessions or taking an antacid like Nexium, then stopping treatment when symptoms disappear. |
In the long run, research shows untreated acid reflux may cause esophageal cancer. Additionally, long-term usage of Nexium is associated with dementia and osteoporosis.
|Example 2: Seasonal Allergies||Focus on drying up the nose and stopping mucus production with antihistamine; however, allergies and sinus infection return frequently. |
In January 2015, The Journal of the American Medical Association (“JAMA”) reported that long-term usage of antihistamine is associated with dementia.
|One of our patients was diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s Disease; upon reviewing medical history, we learned this patient had been taking Nexium for over 25 years, antidepressants for 15 years, cholesterol medication for 17 years, and sleep medications for 20 years. Despite years of medication, all the symptoms persisted, and dementia now plagued this patient (based on the neurologist test and PET scan).|
Do you know if your health is in a Relief, Correction, or Maintenance Care Cycle? Do you want to do everything you can to minimize your health risks and expenditures?